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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

The value of U.S. dairy product exports in 2016 was $4.8 billion, a 10 percent reduction from 2015. Mexico, Canada, and China remained the top three markets in terms of dairy export value, accounting for nearly half of the total value of dairy product exports in 2016.

Hoard’s Dairyman Intel had a great article today that puts it in perspective:

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The milk production forecast for 2017 is raised from last month. Improved returns in 2017 are expected to result in a slightly higher forecast cow inventory during the late part of 2017. Milk output per cow is also raised as improved returns are expected to support continued improvements in the quality of dairy rations. Beginning stocks on both a fat and skim-solids basis are raised from last month on December 31 storage data; stocks at the end of 2017 are raised, reflecting increased beginning inventories and higher dairy product production in 2017. Fat-basis imports are reduced as domestic butterfat is expected to be more competitive with the EU; skim-solids imports are unchanged. Fat basis exports are unchanged and skim-solids basis exports are raised slightly. Skim-solids imports are virtually unchanged as weaker exports of nonfat dry milk (NDM) are offset with stronger whey sales. For 2016, milk production, output per cow, trade, and stock estimates are updated based on data through December.
Cheese and butter price forecasts are lowered as product production is expected to reflect higher forecast milk production and beginning stocks are relatively high. The nonfat dry milk price forecast is unchanged, but the whey price is raised from last month on the strength of domestic and international demand.
The Class III price is raised as the higher whey price more than offsets the lower cheese price forecast.
The Class IV price is reduced as the butter price forecast is lowered. The all milk price is forecast higher at $17.70 to $18.40 per cwt.


Orange City- The first hearing in the country on the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization will be held at 2 p.m. on Feb. 23 on the Kansas State campus in Manhattan, KS.

Beth Doran and Fred M. Hall, Northwest Iowa livestock and dairy specialists will host the live webinar in the basement meeting room at the Sioux County Extension office. No registration is required, but seating will be on a first come basis. While those attending will be able hear the questions and testimony, if they would like to submit written testimony they can email their comments prior to the hearing directed to Senator Pat Roberts at:

Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts says lawmakers need clear direction from producers on what is working and what isn’t working in farm country.

For more information contact the Sioux County Extension office at 712.737.4230.


The Economic Research Service farm income and finance program measures, forecasts, and explains indicators of economic performance for the U.S. farm sector and farm businesses by resource region and commodity specialization.Their report last week saw stable receipts most most segments of the industry, with milk showing major improvements nationwide.

Overall, animal/animal product cash receipts are expected to remain stable in 2017, rising $53 million (0.03 percent) in 2017. Relative to 2016, annual price changes are mixed as to direction in 2017, with increases expected for milk and eggs, declines expected for red meats and turkeys, and stable prices for broilers and farm chickens.

Milk receipts are expected to increase $4.7 billion (13.7 percent) in 2017 from 2016, reflecting expected increases in both the price and quantity sold. Cash receipts from cattle and calves are expected to decline in 2017, falling $4.5 billion (6.7 percent) from 2016 as cattle/calf prices decline. Hog prices are expected to drop in 2017, leading to a forecast drop in hog cash receipts of 4.7 percent.

The second webinar in PDPW’s ventilation webinar series will take place on Wednesday, February 15. Dr. Nigel Cook, a Clinical Associate Professor in Food Animal Production Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be discussing the pros and cons of different mechanical ventilation systems, with an emphasis on cross and
tunnel ventilation. If you are considering making improvements to your farm, this webinar is for you. Click here for the program brochure.

If you are interested in attending a free lunch viewing, contact Jenna at 712-441-5308 or If there is enough interest, WIDA will host a session on Wednesday, February 15 for members.

The I-29 Moo University hosted a winter workshop series titled “Hot Topics for Cold Days” from January 16-20 with a featured workshop in Orange City on January 19.

More than 100 dairy producers, college students, extension personnel and industry colleagues representing more than 43,000 milking cows attended the I-29 Moo University winter workshop series. This five-day workshop series presented one agenda over five days in five states.  The traveling workshop series began in Jamestown, North Dakota, then traveled to Watertown, South Dakota, followed by Pipestone, Minnesota, Orange City, Iowa and wrapped up in Norfolk, Nebraska.

A complete summary is located at:


You read the headline right. The checkoff’s Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification is now always FREE online! It’s a new interactive online experience that beef and dairy producers can sign up for and complete at their convenience.

Why BQA? Because it tells consumers that you have a commitment to delivering a product that is backed by science-based standards. Certification also addresses many questions that consumers have about beef production. BQA ensures consumers that cattle producers are committed to responsibly raising, safe, wholesome, high quality beef.

“It only takes a few hours of watching modules and answering questions, but serves as a checklist for producers to make sure they are using the latest management practices,” says Josh White, Executive Director of Producer Education for the beef checkoff. “We have seen time and time again how consumer confidence is positively affected when BQA standards are followed, and producers have shown their commitment to producing quality beef by being BQA-certified.”

So whether you need to get certified for the first time, or recertified, do it today! It’s always free!

For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit

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